“Medtronic has stepped up the pace of acquisitions in recent years, incorporating promising technologies such as heart valves but also some underperforming products such as a treatment for fractures of the vertebrae known as kyphoplasty.”
“The number of referrals Dr. Angelo Malamis has received for an osteoporosis treatment called kyphoplasty has dropped sharply since publcation of two controversial studies.”
“While there, he discovered patients who went to hospitals for what was considered outpatient, minimally invasive back surgery called kyphoplasty were being kept overnight, then classified as in-patient cases, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.”
“But in the last year, serious doubts have been raised about Kyphon's main business, a surgery called kyphoplasty.”
“A Medtronic-sponsored study based on Medicare claims data recently found that patients who had kyphoplasty lived longer than those who had either vertebroplasty or nonoperative care; one possible explanation is that kyphoplasty restores lung function by making the back straighter.”
“The results implied that vertebroplasty may be nothing more than an expensive placebo -- and cast doubt over whether kyphoplasty is any better.”
“TRICARE beneficiaries who have been diagnosed with fractured vertebrae qualify for percutaneous vertebroplsy and kyphoplasty.”
“The 2005 whistleblower suit alleged Kyphon Inc., which has operated as Medtronic Spine LLC since it was acquired it in November, improperly advised customers to bill its kyphoplasty procedure -- a minimally invasive surgery used to treat spine fractures -- as an inpatient procedure.”
“In 2008, Medtronic Spine LLC, based in Minneapolis, acquired Kyphon, the company that pioneered kyphoplasty in 2007.”
“All the hospitals involved were accused of performing kyphoplasty, a minimally invasive procedure to treat osteoporotic and other spinal fractures, on an in-patient rather than outpatient basis.”
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